Relearning to Learn
I am not only speaking on behalf of myself, but also on behalf of the entire class, that the week spent in Graz, Austria was an unforgettable experience. Relearning to learn was an interesting occurrence that none of us saw coming. It was something I did not realize I needed to do. At some point in my life I was stripped of my genuine creativity; the creativity I had when I was little. The kind of creativity that sounds ridiculous to others but makes perfect sense to you; where there is room for new ideas to emerge. The skills of creativity that were reintroduced to us after having been lost and forgotten in our childhoods were skills that I did not realize I needed to have re-implemented into my life. Iain broke down the walls that had been built by society, and he reconstructed our mindsets into having our own personal viewpoints. He taught me to open my eyes and realize that everything we know and all the rules and mindsets that are followed are because someone else, another human being thought to make it this way and the rest of us followed the idea. We are not taught to make our own rules; it is against our social norms, but this week taught me otherwise.
Taking part in the Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy was an experience unlike any other. I wish it were a longer experience because there is so much more we could learn. I learned a lot about the world of entrepreneurs and how hard work and persistence will pay off as long as you do not give up before you get to see your idea flourish. Doing the unthinkable is a great concept even if you feel that you are running into the unknown. The unknown can be a scary place, however, if no one has yet explored the unknown, then you can make that unknown whatever you want it to be. There were no grades given throughout the week for anything, however, everyone was trying their best and focusing on the material presented in front of us. I found that so amazing to observe that even though there were no grade or money rewards for our work done throughout the week, we all still put our 100% into the week of lectures and brainstorming. Our reward was all of the knowledge we obtained throughout this experience.If something grasps my attention and ignites a passion within me, I will pursue it and do my best to create the unthinkable. I never knew I had this type of thinking within me, but through Iain’s lectures I learned a lot about myself, and I thank him so much for helping me change my narrow view of how the world works. The world only works the way it does because we have all subconsciously agreed that it should be the way it is. However, we learned that in reality there are no rules. Rules were created by humans, and changing anything is always within your reach. Doing the unthinkable, such as creating a car engine to fix the horseshit problem in New York City will get you far. First people will look at you as if you are crazy, and then they will eventually realize that you were in fact not crazy, but genius. Even if an idea sounds crazy, it can turn into something amazing. Believing in myself is the most important lesson that the professors and the program taught me that week, and I thank you all for that.
Written by: Anna Kwiatek
Montclair State University, Class of 2019